New research from Highland Spring shows how important it is for us to feel good, with three times as many people saying they’d rather be happy than have lots of money. An essential for the summer season, feeling good starts with healthy hydration. When you’re 100% hydrated, you’re much more likely to be on top of your game – mentally, physically and emotionally.

Yet 66% of us don’t think we drink enough water on a daily basis. This can lead to dehydration, which can cause a loss of concentration, headaches and muscle fatigue. That’s why Highland Spring has teamed up with wellbeing expert, Calgary Avansino, to launch a new “Feel Good” initiative on the benefits of healthy hydration.

Eat “alive”

What you choose to put on your plate each day matters! And making sure it is as “alive” as possible is the most important thing to remember. By that I mean eating a lot more plants such as broccoli and leafy greens – grown using the sun’s energy on trees, bushes and in the soil. We need to change our perspective about how our plates should look and make sure that we are consistently eating a balanced diet including delicious, nutritious plants!

 

Move & sweat
Moving and sweating is as good for your mind as it is for your body. Even if you’re new to exercise the benefits are huge! In addition to making us stronger, leaner and more flexible it also relieves stress, helps fight anxiety, makes us sleep better and generally makes us feel more positive. Sounds like something we should slot into our schedules as often as possible, right? Whether you want to work out in the privacy of your living room using an online tutorial, run alone in the park or join friends for a new class, schedule it into your diary like you would any meeting and stick to it! Don’t forget to drink enough water to replenish the water that your body has lost to keep you feeling good and eat something “alive” to refuel after you work out.

 

Stuff sugar
If you haven’t already, it is time to honestly look at how much sugar you are eating each day (it might surprise you!) and then take steps to eliminate it from your habits little-by-little. It does absolutely nothing for our bodies other than send us on a sugar rollercoaster of highs and lows. Aside from clearing out our cupboards of all the obvious foods (crisps, sugary soft drinks, cakes, biscuits, sweets), it is important to read the labels and check what is in everything we’re eating… you’ll be shocked by all the places sugar is hiding. Sauces, marinades, breads, juices, store-bought smoothies (even “green” ones), “healthy” snack bars, fruit yoghurts, granola… Keep an eye out. A good equation to remember is 4 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon. With this in mind, when you’re reading the package, if it says it contains 16 grams of sugar, you’ll know this equals 4 teaspoons, which is much easier to visualise. Imagining the teaspoons, you are consuming will quickly make you want to cut down on how much you’re eating.

 

Take 10
Life is unbelievably hectic for all of us – so hectic in fact that sometimes we forget to breathe! Obviously not the kind we do automatically and subconsciously, but I mean the really deep, relaxing breathing that completely slows us down, focuses us and tunes us into our bodies and minds. Focusing on this type of breathing – even for 5 minutes a day – is a form of meditation. Please don’t be scared of the word meditation and start imagining yourself as a monk, sitting for hours at a time and pontificating on nothing – this couldn’t be further from what you’ll be doing. It just means taking some time out of your “normal” life and focusing inward and quieting the mind. I find the easiest way to do that is by focusing consciously on your breath. Give it a try consistently and I guarantee it will change you for the better.

 

Hydration Sensation
We often forget just how important it is to be well watered, especially during the warm summer months. Dehydration is serious business! Every cell, tissue and organ in our body requires water in order to work well. There is a lot of varying advice given about how much we should be drinking and there isn’t one rule for everyone. Basically most people need to drink more than they do. I simply try to keep a water bottle with me at my desk, in my car or when I’m out and about then I never have an excuse not to be replenishing my water levels. It’s important to consistently hydrate yourself and not just drink water when you feel thirsty – that’s when your body is screaming for water. One of the best indicators for hydration levels is your urine; the darker in colour it is, the more you need to start drinking! Ideally you want it to be colourless or light yellow. When it comes to what you’re drinking, you can jazz water up with sliced cucumber, ginger, celery and squeezed lemon or lime. It’s also important to remember you’ll need to drink more when you’re exercising.

 

Commit to Trying
Eating well, staying healthily hydrated and exercising regularly shouldn’t be stressful, challenging or feel like a chore. It is all about being kind to yourself, loving yourself and replacing bad habits with good ones. To start off, all I want you to do is commit to yourself that you will try – even if you don’t make any practical changes for a few weeks. Make yourself a priority, embrace a positive mindset and this will allow you to overcome obstacles which were seemingly impossible, making you feel great. It’s never too late to start, nor is any situation too far gone.

 

Highland Spring has teamed up with wellbeing expert, Calgary Avansino, to launch a new ‘Feel Good’ initiative on the benefits of healthy hydration. For more information visit www.highlandspring.com

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